I never read the raving racists online but those who do tell me how revolting it is getting out there in the blogosphere. Ugly populism is fast food for the disillusioned.But Yazza, if you assuage genuine frustrations, you will be pandering to demagoguery ! Believe it or not, our coming woes aren't all about income inequality, though mass immigration certainly hasn't helped that.
For the centre-left leadership, the predicament is whether to pander to demagoguery or assuage genuine frustrations. Over the past three decades, governments have deepened income inequality and therefore resentment.
Unquestionably, multiculturalism – once an effective policy tool – is now failing to connect, to counter resurgent white racism or self-exclusion.But Yazza, that is multiculturalism ! Which is why multiculturalism is doomed to fail. It could only work as long as incomer numbers were small enough. Once the numbers were large enough - of whatever culture - it was going to mean trouble.
Popular consent, I believe, can be galvanised for the greater good. A renewed national identity united old enemies in South Africa and Germany, and Anglo-Franco Canada promoted a one-nation consciousness which accommodates diversity. History mattered; so too national memories. The future mattered more, and these nations sought to drop the baggage that would hold them back.
Well, yes. But we've already turned our education system into a propaganda tool, wrecked the teaching of British history. More than enough cultural baggage has been jettisoned.
It was thinking about these questions which was one of the things (though not the big kicker - that was the reaction of the left - and Yazza - to 9/11) that started me, first commenting elsewhere, then blogging. The thing is, I couldn't see any cheerful answers to those questions. And Yazza has none either.
Britons need to be drawn to such a collective enterprise. Who do we think we are? Who do we think we can be? What will bring our different tribes closer together? How can we become a more equal and less unhappy population?
Ed West takes Yazza apart in the Telegraph :
And the comments are spot-on, too :
The economic benefits of mass immigration, as opposed to small-scale skilled immigration, are far from “indisputable”. Any economic benefit is short-term, with long-term and permanent social effects, and of benefit largely to the well-off.
To the rich, immigration means Tongan cleaners, Polish handymen and Thai chefs; to the poor it means queueing, lower wages and more crime, both from immigrants themselves and the native unemployed. It is often to these people, and to ever growing numbers of middle-class people squeezed out of their old neighbourhoods by house price increases, that an alternative view on immigration appeals. The internet has its downsides, and unpleasantness is a big one – but it also provides an alternative voice to a media class who find the rest of the population revolting.
It was worse than never being asked - we were lied to. In the 1970s we were told that fears of being swamped were exaggerated, that there was no danger of the country’s nature being fundamentally altered. Then, almost overnight (in the early 80s) the line changed to `we are a multi-cultural society now, so get used to it’. In so far as we were ever able to express an opinion, through polls, we made it perfectly clear that we didn’t want this to happen. The suppressed anger at having been deceived, ignored and bullied is what now makes this issue so toxic.
Overwhelmingly the people in Great Britain are absurdly tolerant, and even when they’re not they are in general so damn polite they’d never allow a peep of intolerance to escape into public anyway.
The majority are, rightly, pissed off that they were never consulted on mass immigration, or the enforcement of multiculturalism. They just plain don’t believe the claims of necessity as it’s fairly freakin obvious other first world countries haven’t disintegrated despite despite not taking in half the world.
The liberal left at the BBC/Guardian, Civil Service and the main three political parties know the people of Great Britain aren’t all jackbooted BNP-supporting racists. They know the overwhelming majority just don’t see the need to import a massive foreign population into the country, changing the nation radically and permanently in less than 15 years, and then ordering us to be happy about it.
They know all that - it’s just we’re the only democratic country on earth where the elites basically hate the population. So I guess they decided to switch it.
The tension and a great many of the ills of the West today are from a spiritual vacuum which now envelops it. Most of the immigrants have a dreadful ideology - but it least it is not a spiritual vacuum, and that makes them stronger than those who are spiritually empty.
I say that as an atheist myself. But I have watched standards for everything decay from those of my childhood as liberalism has taken hold, liberalism which in today’s form substitutes fake ideals and utopias and fears for what used to be religious belief. On a mere empirical basis, increasing secularism has not been good for society, and in my observation, most people are less happy, suffer from an undefined malaise and oddly enough, are more willing to give up their freedom. I do not know why that would be so; but empirically it is so. I think most people need to believe in something, and secularism does not seem to fill that need.
(Hat-tips to commenters Sgt Troy, who seems to have stopped wanting to hang and shoot people for the moment or is at least deferring to house rules, and anon.)